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San Francisco: The Big Money Teaching Racism

Unsurprisingly, “anti-racist” teaching methods are not helping students learn in the classroom.

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When I founded the 1776 Project, a national super PAC dedicated to electing conservatives who opposed critical theory in the K-12 classrooms, the mainstream media, the teacher’s union, and Democrat politicians insisted that I was peddling unfounded fear to concerned parents. In the three years since I began my mission to flip school boards, it is not only evident that critical theory is alive and well in our nation’s primary and secondary schools, but also becoming a billion-dollar business funded by tax dollars.

The Hayward Unified School District, located in San Francisco’s Bay Area, is host to the failing Glassbrook Elementary, where 474 predominantly Latino children spend a decade barely learning to read, write, or do math. As of last spring, less than 4 percent of students were proficient in math and 12 percent in English.

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With the blessing of parents and educators, the school board approved a $250,000 contract with the for-profit company Woke Kindergarten, which specializes in addressing “anti-racism” training for students and teachers through a federal program to improve failing schools. School officials believed that if they could confront the legacy of racism and white supremacy, students’ grades and attendance would improve. The opposite happened.

After two years of using Woke Kindergarten, math and English scores hit new lows despite the district telling the San Francisco Chronicle that attendance had improved and suspension rates were down, allowing the school to get off the state watchlist for failing schools. In fact, not only was Glassbrook still on the watchlist, but their ranking had declined since using the “anti-racism” program.

The massive public outcry from the exposé by the San Francisco Chronicle forced the district to quietly end its contract with Woke Kindergarten. “The controversy was becoming a distraction,” Hayward officials said. 

It’s important to note that the district didn’t apologize for wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on a program that didn’t work and was not only openly hostile to the cornerstones of America, but also deeply antisemitic. They didn’t even bother pretending to be ignorant of the program’s intentions or the beliefs of its founder.

“I believe the United States has no right to exist. I believe every settler colony who has committed genocide against native peoples, against Indigenous people, has no right to exist,” Woke Kindergarten founder Akiea Gross said in a recent Instagram post. “Y’all the demons. Y’all are the villains. We’ve been trying to end y’all. Get free of y’all.” 

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In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, “anti-racism” became popularized by author Ibram X. Kendi with his best-selling book How to Be an Antiracist. The ideology centers around the false notion that racism is the single cause of all racial inequities, from incarceration rates to salaries to educational achievement. Thus, the only way to remedy racism is to be an “anti-racism” activist who looks to promote “anti-racism” discrimination that seeks to remedy all inequities in the world. In other words, race-based discrimination must be used to overturn the systemic problems built in our white colonizer capitalist society. Per Kendi’s own explanation,

The only remedy to negative racist discrimination that produces inequity is positive antiracist discrimination that produces equity. The only remedy to past negative racist discrimination that has produced inequity is present positive antiracist discrimination that produces equity. The only remedy to present negative racist discrimination toward inequity is future positive antiracist discrimination towards equity.

“Anti-racist” consultants in K-12 education seek to bring this aggressive racialist ideology to the classroom. Even though Gross got booted from Hayward, plenty of other “anti-racist” professionals are making a small fortune peddling this pedagogy to students, teachers, and administrators. 

According to Parents Defending Education, consultants have earned over $22 million from public and private funds over the last few years promoting “anti-racism” and DEI trainings—and not just in blue states.  

  • Platte County, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City that doesn’t have a single Democrat holding office in a single countywide position, has paid nearly $100,000 since 2017 to Sophic Solutions LLC to provide “diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop” and “professional development services” to the district’s schools.
  • Several school districts in suburban parts of Iowa paid Past Present Future Consulting & Media LLC more than $250,000 from 2018 to 2021 for consulting services and “equity work.”
  • Mid-Atlantic Equity Consulting has received more than $1 million in taxpayer dollars since 2013 performing services like “education equity audits” and “culturally responsive pedagogy” in more than half-a-dozen states including Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Michigan.

Shockingly enough, tax dollars aren’t the only revenue stream where DEI consultants are making a small fortune. Walmart funded a five-year equity plan for Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, schools. The Washington Free Beacon reported that the nation’s largest retailer is spending private funds to have a top-down transformation of public schools in its hometown. They hired a North Carolina–based firm known as the Racial Equity Institute to hold teacher training where educators learned that “perfectionism” is “white supremacy” and that “all our systems, institutions, and outcomes emanate from the racial hierarchy on which the United States was built.”

One parent sent the 1776 Project a hidden recording from her son’s class in which his English teacher explicitly told students about the benefits of critical race theory and how to dispel attacks on the theory. The teacher insisted that “CRT can be useful to help us become a better society” and has very little to do with Marxism, neither of which is true.

Professional trainings and equity audits aside, these for-profit “anti-racism” businesses are looking to fundamentally alter curriculum, including the hard sciences. 

Rochelle Gutierrez has been working as an education professor at the College of Education within the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne since 1996, helping educators understand how they can reimagine math education to include intersectionality, power dynamics, and social activism. She calls it “rehumanizing math.”

This may seem ridiculous, but Gutierrez has been celebrated in the education community, receiving the “Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Educator Award for Excellence in Scholarship” from the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators in 2011.

Born to an activist Chicano mother, she learned about political activism in her childhood and brought it to math education as an adult.

“Math is dehumanizing students because they ask students to leave their identity at the door and focus on the math process,” Gutierrez said in one speech, deriding the notion that being good at math is a proxy for intelligence. “Mathematics has an unearned privilege in society just like whiteness, a measure to which we judge others, and which becomes normal. Viewing being proficient in math cannot be decoupled from this white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society that we live in,” she continued.

Gutierrez’s decade-long vision is making its way into K-12 education when it was announced that the Pittsburgh Public Schools approved a $50,000 contract with Quetzal Education to provide educators with a new “anti-racist” approach to teaching math.

The recommendation came from Assistant Superintendent Shawn McNeil, who emphasized that “anti-racism” would improve the district’s 11.6 percent proficiency in math among black students.

Quetzal also has contracts with K-12 school districts in Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Hayward, New Haven, and San Mateo, as well as several universities.

There’s no evidence that “anti-racism” training will improve educational achievement among students or reduce racial inequities between Hispanic and black students compared to their white and Asian peers, but that’s not the ultimate goal. “Anti-racism” activists are using education to create a generation of social justice activists who hope to continue their efforts to strip capitalism, “colonization,” and merit from society—and to get wealthy in the process.

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